ILLIT agency reports Min Hee-jin for her 'NewJeans copycat' accusation

Girl group ILLIT on April 2 [NEWS1]

Girl group ILLIT's agency, Belift Lab, reported Min Hee-jin, producer of the girl group NewJeans and CEO of its agency ADOR, to the police for defamation by calling the girl group a copycat.

Belift Lab, a wholly owned subsidiary of BTS agency HYBE, said Wednesday that it has filed a report against Min for calling its quintet ILLIT a "NewJeans copycat" during her ongoing conflict with HYBE, which also owns ADOR.

"We emphasize once again that the allegations of plagiarism that CEO Min brought against our artist ILLIT are not true," Belift Lab said in a press release.

"Plagiarism of intellectual property (IP) is something that should be assessed according to fair standards and regulations, not the one-sided and random judgment of a single individual. We deeply lament the current situation where the efforts and achievements of our artists and staff are being denounced due to ungrounded conjectures."

Min has been citing ILLIT's apparent similarity with NewJeans as the reason she made an internal report against HYBE, for which she is receiving retaliation, according to the CEO.

Fans of both artists have become divided over whether the two girl groups are in fact similar and, if so, whether it is to the point that an agency chief can make a public statement on it.

"The members of ILLIT are suffering from severe comments and attacks, even though they remain irrelevant to the core of the issue," Belift Lab said.

"We ask with the sincerest heart that you stop all the malicious comments, false accusations and defamation against the artists."

ILLIT was formed through JTBC’s idol audition program, “R U Next?” (2023), and debuted under Belift Lab in March with “Super Real Me.” The group is scheduled to perform at multiple music festivals this summer, including the Rakuten Girls Award 2024 Spring/Summer, KCON Japan 2024 and the Weverse Con Festival.